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A $29K Dream Cabin Come True…

This is the story of the Quietude Prefab Cabin. It’s the story of Denise Franklin and her healing place. After going through a major illness and doctors telling her she only had six months left to live… It’s been more than twenty years, she had left her house, and husband, and was now in search of her sacred space.

With a budget of only $28,000, she thought it might sound impossible, but she knew that anything is possible if you believe in it enough, so she didn’t give up and eventually made it happen thanks to the help of the wonderful and amazing Henry Yorke Mann (architect). Denise ended up with her dream tiny home… 280-square-feet of peaceful bliss. Please enjoy…🙏

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The Cabin that Gives You Peace… The Quietude🙏

Quietude Small Prefab Cabin

Photo Credit Stuart Bish and Henry Yorkemann Architecture

Denise Franklin needed a healing place. She’d been through a major illness (more than 20 years earlier doctors had told her she had six months to live) and had walked away from a house and husband. She yearned for “a place to pray, meditate, prepare my food and entertain my friends, and a warm place to lay my head at night.”

Denise had $28,000 to spend. She knew it might be an impossible dream. But she also believed in magic.

Quietude Small Prefab Cabin Exterior View

Photo Credit Stuart Bish and Henry Yorkemann Architecture

She decided instead of having a bed taking up space downstairs to create this upstairs sleeping loft so she can have a dining area where the bed otherwise would have been. Looks very cozy up there and plenty of space too.

Quietude Small Prefab Cabin Ladder To The Loft

Photo Credit Stuart Bish and Henry Yorkemann Architecture

You can see the kitchen set up below along with all of the vertical storage space and shelves.


Photo Credit Stuart Bish and Henry Yorkemann Architecture

Backyard Garden

Photo Credit Stuart Bish and Henry Yorkemann Architecture

Floor Plan

Henry Yorkemann Architecture

The footprint is only about 18-feet by 26-feet which gives you the loft space, full kitchen, living room, bathroom, washer/dryer space, storage, and there are plenty of ways you can rework the design for yourself depending on your preferences. The Quietude was designed for a specific client and then it was prefabricated before being delivered to the site and being installed with bolts and metal plates. It was assembled in just three days but it actually took 3 months to design and build it before the delivery. That’s really fast though, isn’t it?

Finding a design shaman

In 1999, Denise secured a long-term lease on a half-acre plot in the Okanagan mountains near Oliver, British Columbia. Set atop a wooded knob, her land was perfect for growing herbs and vegetables and offered kaleidoscopic views of the Okanagan and Similkameen mountain ranges. All she needed was a design wizard to make her mountain cottage a reality. “When building a dwelling of any size, it’s wise to seek out a professional in the field, a good architect who will listen to your needs, wants and, at times, your impossible dreams,” Denise says. “This is particularly true when you go to him with a total sum of $28,000 in savings, a disability pension and no other means of financial aid.”

Architect Henry Yorke Mann is something of a wizard. The grandson of a master builder, Mann has been designing and building houses in British Columbia since 1962. His homes are built to enhance the human soul; he deems any house that doesn’t a failure. Mann describes the architect, at his best, as a shaman producing sacred works. “Even with an extreme budget, it’s possible to build an environmentally sound home that enhances the joy, life and soul of humans,” he says.

For Denise, he did just that.

Henry Yorke Mann (August 15, 1930, to April 2, 2015).

May he rest in peace and continue to inspire the world with his designs. May his legacy live on to inspire the future of great architects and designers.

Please read the FULL STORY at Mother Earth Living.


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More Like This: Tiny Houses | Tiny Cabin in the Woods w/ Land | THOW


  1. http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/2010/04/17/quietude/, http://www.motherearthliving.com/green-homes/in-quietude-a-simple-healing-mountain-cottage.aspx, http://www.henryyorkemann.com/project/quietude
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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Carolyn Bowen
    November 8, 2012, 7:32 pm

    Love these ideas. We have a 5 acre vacant piece of land, and are looking for ideas.

  • jerryd
    November 10, 2012, 3:57 pm

    If done sq or rectangle it would have 25% more room at little more cost and same heating/cooling cost. Or the same room at less cost.

    Do they live 20% of the time in the bathroom? If not why so big? I’ve lived in smaller spaces than it comfortably ;^P

    Better price than most though.

    • Mame
      May 7, 2014, 7:16 pm

      One of the charming things about this design though are the multiple windows for each space, resulting in light coming in from so many different angles.
      But I suspect you are correct, the building costs could be lowered quite a bit by making the building square or rectangular. I seem to recall a conversation years ago with a builder who told me that every corner adds a lot of cost due to the support each individual one requires — and on this building there are a number of corners that could be easily avoided leaving you with more square footage of livjng space for less cost… remembering this is only the cost of the building. I love the charm this one has in the displayed version. 🙂

    • May 10, 2015, 9:54 am

      One of the things I LOVED about this space was the large bathroom. It is definitely a high percentage of the living space but the “small house” that currently resides in my head and on paper, is majority bathroom and kitchen. If I can squeeze into my bedroom—hey, I only sleep (and read until I fall asleep) there—that will be fine with me. Entertaining space is incorporated into the kitchen and spills outdoors via French-doors. It’s really a matter of lifestyle requirements. BTW I’ve been living very small for 6 years and all I miss is a proper kitchen and bath. The rest is highly negotiable. 😉

  • Tom Connell
    November 13, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Where is the Quietude house made ?
    Thank you

  • cmbarr55
    November 21, 2012, 6:00 pm

    It looks like you could potentially have a loft in each of the 4 side of this quite easily. Could be lots of storage or small office or study areas, plus extra sleeping. I love that it is relatively roomy and an excellent price.

    • Sgmaps
      May 10, 2015, 6:42 pm

      Excellent idea, a great way to get more space out of this unique layout without impeding on the open feeling of the design.

  • Barb Blythe
    November 30, 2012, 7:49 pm

    For a “stationary” house, it looks wonderful…but I have to agree with Jerry; for ME, I would rather have more room in another area other than the bath. But that is what is so terrific about tiny abodes…the inside is for your footprint! This could be arranged in various ways and look–a REAL refrig! I also would be interested in the company that built it.

  • Sharon
    December 8, 2012, 9:55 am

    As I recall, Quietude sold for $29,000 in 1999. The architect is Henry Lloyd Mann.

    • Sgmaps
      May 10, 2015, 6:49 pm

      I am betting that it could sell for double that now.

  • Mark
    March 1, 2013, 3:00 pm


    (link had to be removed, website no longer in service)

    • Nancy
      December 9, 2016, 9:25 pm

      It is with a heavy heart we announce that Henry Yorke Mann (August 15, 1930 to April 2, 2015) has passed away. He was surrounded by family and friends in his home the Manndela, after experiencing a series of strokes in Oliver, BC at the age of 84.

      • Annette
        December 22, 2016, 11:21 am

        A true artist. This small house is exemplary in every way and simply seeing it changes one’s view of home.

      • Linda
        April 9, 2018, 9:30 am

        I am so sorry that Mr. Henry Yorke Mann has passed away. The world will miss him. With the beauty and utility of this home, we could use more like him.
        Rest in peace.

      • Alex
        May 1, 2019, 12:50 pm

        May he rest in peace and continue to inspire the world with his structures and designs. Our condolences to his family, close friends, and clients.

  • Peter
    May 31, 2013, 7:28 am

    The design of “Quietude” is extraordinary, but I think that its price only makes it affordable for certain people. The other should be given the possibility of enjoying peace and nature, too.

    • Court Kizer
      November 15, 2013, 10:46 am

      You could scrounge and use free lumber from Craiglist to build the same style of house for $8,000 but it would probably take you two years to gather the free part of the materials.

      • Nick
        November 15, 2013, 2:46 pm

        I’ve read about people on this blog getting free lumber. Where are you?
        I live in Mid-Coast Maine and I moved here a year ago. I’ve used Craigslist elsewhere with success, but it appears Maine people either use it up or don’t know how to use Craigslist.

        I already have an old camper ready for dismantling, but having a hard time collecting recycled stuff ;-(

  • June 23, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Small cabins are cool! Yes, we’re biased. We own Amish Cabin Company, http://www.amishcabincompany.com and offer prefab prebuilt modular cabins delivered to you ready for same day use. Energy efficient 3Ht insulation. 2 off-grid solar power options. Amish workmanship and quality. 5 models offered, each with full architectural plans and state inspected in shop during construction. Made in custom off-grid facility on Kentucky Amish farm. Cabin kits offered also. Beautiful exposed post and beam construction- eastern white pine from floor to ceiling, including all exterior/interior doors, kitchen/bath cabinets, and walls.

  • Sue
    July 16, 2013, 10:54 pm

    For myself, I absolutely HAVE to have a decent kitchen space–which this one does. I cook & bake, so…..that’s a must! And I wouldn’t even consider any other interior besides wood. I love wood & it makes everything so cozy.
    Nice design, but I agree about the square/rectangle choice.

  • Keith G
    November 21, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Before people get too hot on the idea that this house could be built for $29,000, please come back down to earth. As you look at this house – the architecture, the fittings, the construction and finishing – does it really look like a house that could be built for $29,000? I didn’t think so!

    That was the price when the house was built in 1999. Today’s construction costs would bring this to over $40,000, and we’re not talking about the land here either. A nice house deserves to be on a nice site, which on average might represent another $10-15,000. Site improvements – landscaping, driveways, decks, etc., plus septic, well, etc. – could add another $10,000 or more. It’s therefore not unrealistic to consider this to be a $65,000 house.

    I’m reminding you of this for my benefit as well. I am very much in the market for a vacation/retirement home, and I am trying my darnedest to be realistic! Yes, it’s nice to do our pie-in-the-sky dreaming, but when reality strikes, the price goes up! I guess that’s the cost of living on such a nice planet.

    • Alex Pino
      November 22, 2013, 5:57 am

      Thanks Keith I appreciate that

      • May 10, 2015, 10:57 am

        As Kieth said, the total cost is very seldom advertised for cabins or any prefab because there are so many variables. Hitting the magic $50 per square foot just for structure only happens in Park Model RV manufacturing…and THAT is getting almost impossible I am finding as I cross the country back and forth looking for a manufacturer willing to build some designs from 4Fathoms Designs. Ricky Nelson in Spokane has a company in Canada that he says can do it however.

        • Sockeye
          January 3, 2017, 7:56 pm

          Hi do you have a link or way to contact Ricky Nelson?

    • Jeroen
      July 13, 2018, 5:03 pm

      Thanks Keith.
      I appreciate this is expensive but here in New Zealand you could not build this amazing house for less than 2-3 times the cost and the cheapest land is 4-5 times the cost. Parts of America are incredibly inexpensive!

  • John L.
    May 4, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Nice layout. I was looking for a smaller house with the sleeping area not up a ladder due to injuries, and was happy to note the original design was altered to move the bedroom up and add a dining area to that space.

    But what I really liked was the concept – the central living area with everything radial to that. So many times in standard squares and rectangles you end up with a room hung off a second room, like the only bathroom off the bedroom or kitchen. Or a kitchen/kitchenette that’s also a traffic area for people to move through. This does away with that.

  • Heide
    May 7, 2014, 11:48 am

    Are there tiny home builders in Arizona?
    Models for sale? Where to order?
    Restrictions in building, or anywhere?

    • Kathy
      May 8, 2014, 11:44 am

      Where in AZ? I am in Flagstaff and very interested in pursuing the idea of a tiny house village, I have talked to a builder and commissioner, they are interested but there needs to be a group of people pushing for it. Contact me if this is something you would be like to be involved in.

      • Jeff Smith
        September 25, 2017, 6:02 pm

        I too live in AZ. Ive been researching this for years, and unfortunately…you have to go way out of town to build anything small. That, and securing a loan for a small home build is next to impossible. Ive been directed to “RV loans” but that’s not what we need in this instance. Any advice is appreciated. Id like to build somewhere between tonopah and buckeye out west, as opposed to north of Phoenix, since it would be closer for more employment opportunities for potential residents. Unless we are discussing anthem area or new river which is close enough. However the land values are very appreciated in the mentioned areas, at this point, so plan on adding some money to the price tag for the land acquisition as well.
        Any thoughts?

  • Canyon Man
    December 24, 2014, 2:00 pm

    There are some well built storage sheds in the Southwest that can easily be made into tiny homes. Various floor plans and sizes are out there to fit most anyone’s taste or requirements from around 64 square feet on up to around 300. One would have to have some building skills to frame in more windows, wire and plumb if wanted. I have seen these used on various Native American lands. I am sure some counties will allow , while others will not. One needs to make sure before buying the land what type of buildings are allowed. Some local governments want the high tax base or high resale prices, or are worried about the quality of people. I disagree, but many times those are reasons along with natural resource concerns.

  • Elle
    December 24, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Regarding **Keith G’s comments**: Good points and valuable information -thank you!!. This house is beautiful! At $40k for the home (**current cost**) it’s $85.47/sq ft -which is still very good for any decent, livable structure and unbelievably inexpensive for this (semi?) custom built home. The other homes (of varying square footage) on the ‘quietude’ website given above (thank you!) are some of the most unique and artistically crafted dwellings I’ve ever seen and given the few that list the approximate cost, they too are under $100/sq ft. I’ve never seen anything this detailed and beautiful for these unbelievable prices! Thank you as well for the Amish-built website. Their homes appear to be around $70/sq ft -also excellent. And if you know anything about Amish-built homes and crafts then you know you’re getting a sound and beautiful product at a more than fair price /value ratio. And Kieth, even with the land, septic, etc. (that you broke down for us -again, thank you) this featured home is only about $138/sq foot in it’s entirety -which is excellent. I believe, gone are the days of $50/sq ft (or less) homes -that is, if looking for a finished home that includes labor. Gorgeous little home!

  • Jorge Soriano
    January 19, 2015, 12:50 am

    Just about what I am looking for, but further research is needed. Very nice indeed!

  • alice h
    May 10, 2015, 10:30 am

    Kind of reminds me of the Bolt Together House from Lester Walker’s book Tiny Houses. A central volume with wings. https://tinyhousetalk.com/video-tour-of-the-bolt-together-house-a-famous-diy-tiny-house-design/

  • SteveDenver
    May 10, 2015, 10:42 am

    This is a surprising amount of function in only 300sf. Any idea what the approximate cost of the build was (without the land)?

  • Brian
    May 10, 2015, 4:33 pm

    Hi Alex, have to ask, why does your subscription notice keep popping up on the screen more than once during each segment. Is this an error in your scripting or are you looking to reduce your number of subscribers. Cheers from Australia

  • Sally
    May 10, 2015, 7:34 pm

    I loved the inset corners simply for aesthetic appeal however in a tropical or semi tropical area, which is where I live in Australia, the roof corners could be extended to form a square and the space below decked and even screened to form outside living space, bathing areas, eating etc. but…. I did love the corners.. Great for an older single.

  • Linda
    May 11, 2015, 8:16 am

    Love the design, the exterior looks inviting! I am curious though, as I would like one for myself, it seems as though the tiny homes are often “for sale” as opposed to being actually lived in. It is a trend to build and sell now? Which might be easier for me to find the right one!

  • Tina
    May 11, 2015, 1:04 pm

    I LOVE this design. Light and inviting home . I se a absolute blance here. So aptly named Quiteatude. With a Basement ! what a home caners dream space. The porch is perfect. Sign me up, I think we found nirvana

  • NKW
    May 12, 2015, 10:49 am

    Light in every room from 3+ sides: fabulous!!!!
    However, I’d destroy the perfect symmetry by extending the dining area to create a bedroom. No ladders for this couple, please.
    And I’d add a porch outside the bedroom.
    Great design for a private, scenic location!

    • Bill Burgess
      May 12, 2015, 11:19 am

      NKW a simple fix would be to put the entry in one of the side walls in the dining area and eliminate one of those closets and adding a window. You then extend the existing entry area about the same as the deck footprint to match the other wings and you have your first floor bedroom. I am sure the plan was offered with that option it is only logical. Of course I see things differently at 4Fathoms Designs on Facebook.

  • Travis
    February 8, 2017, 4:26 pm

    I think this is really a great little house. Of course the house would be less expensive if it was a simple rectangle but one of the great things about a small/tiny house is that you can do some interesting architecture and not blow the budget. I would take the unique spaces and the architectural interest that this house offers over a simple rectangular house any day! Don’t we have enough rectangular houses out there??? Not everyone is looking for the rock bottom price when they are building a house, sometimes building small enables you to have the upgrades and character that would be too expensive on a much larger scale. BRAVO for creating a small house that fits her needs and artistic sense of design for utilizing the space. I love seeing something different and this house does that!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 9, 2017, 7:05 am

      Yes! Different is the BEST 🙂

  • Peace College
    May 18, 2017, 2:04 pm

    Hey great post. I hope it’s ok that I shared it
    on my Facebook, if not, no problem just let
    me know and I’ll delete it. Either way keep up the great work.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 18, 2017, 3:37 pm

      You are always free to share our things 🙂

  • Zvonko Prosen
    December 21, 2017, 2:57 am

    Ćudovite hiše iz lesa v neokrnjeni naravi

  • Kathleen Hicks
    September 20, 2018, 5:14 pm

    It will be perfect on my 5acres in Livermore Hills!I prefer 2 bedrooms for guests. I do want a porch all around.

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